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2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Grain


Grain: The orientation of wood-cell fibers or the arrangement or direction of fibers in wood.

The 2017 Hobel The Grain marks our ninth and sadly final release from this exceptional vineyard. The hallmarks of The Grain we have all come to know and love over the years are alive and kicking in this vintage. The wine is deeply colored and intense at this young age. It has aromatic shades of our 2013 vintage, with blue and black fruits such as boysenberry and blueberry soaring from the glass, framed by coffee, cedar and earth notes. The mouthfeel is electric, showing very intense fruit components framed by dusty tannins, sweet oak and olives. This wine will evolve into a beautiful wine and a spectacular endcap to our time with this amazing vineyard.

  • Neck
    Black Ebony
  • Blend
    100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard
    Ciminelli Vineyard
  • Appellation
    Napa Valley
  • Production
    134 cases

The Vintage

Well, let’s start with the obvious. Starting on October 8, 2017, massive fires raged through the Napa Valley, causing widespread destruction and filling the valley with smoke. The fires were traumatizing to all of us living in the valley, especially since our son Indigo was due to be delivered on October 23, 2017!

We were fortunate that all of our fruit for the 2017 The Grain was harvested on September 28, 2017 before the fires began and the wines were safely in tank. Our fearless winemaking team led by Thomas Brown worked at the winery throughout to ensure the wines were doing well, and following their typical course during production. In the end, all of our Hobel Wines came through the month unimpacted by the fires, and for that (and for the birth of our son in a smoke-free Napa on October 23) we were extremely thankful!

Before the fires began, 2017 had shaped up to be another great vintage for Napa Valley. The year started with immense winter rains that inundated the valley. However, with our well-draining hillside vineyard sites (Ciminelli, Kennedy and Sodhani), we eased into spring and flowering went smoothly.

The beginning of June saw the first of two major heat waves that ramped up berry development well ahead of schedule. The heat continued into August and by Labor Day, temperatures were in excess of 110F. While many winemakers picked out of panic at this time, Thomas and our team waited patiently. As the heat faded, the brix levels in the fruit came down and the fruit at all three of our vineyard sites hung until they were ready to be picked, ensuring balanced phenolics and ripeness.

The Notes (From Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown)

The Grain has always been one of the most complete and exceptional wines in the program. It combines all the natural California sunshine with a savory note provided by the clonal mix at the Ciminelli Vineyard. Always a interesting and multi-layered wine, the 2017 might be the most complex version to date. We are all very sad to see this wonderful fruit source go, but it is wonderful to be able to end our many years with this vineyard on a high note!
2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Grain  - Hobel Wines